Mar 9, 201204:40 PMRick Pledl

'Poor' Tiger

Today’s topic is glass houses. And millionaire stone-throwers.

Last week, I read about Tiger Woods’ reaction to a new book coming out by his former coach Hank Haney. Then, yesterday, I read a lengthy excerpt of the book on golfdigest.com.

After taking that in and spending the night thinking it over – OK, I was watching basketball – I’m not sure what’s funnier: Woods calling “The Big Miss” a money grab or Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg calling the book shameless self-promotion.

For the record: Woods makes money hand over fist, and Steinberg is pretty good at promotion – of himself and others. Let’s not forget what the “pro” in professional golfer stands for. It means, simply, that Woods is in it for the money.

By the way, Haney’s a golf professional, too.

In a recent interview with espn.com, Woods called the book “unprofessional” and “disappointing." Then he added: "There have been other one-sided books about me, and I think people understand that this book is about money. I'm not going to waste my time reading it."

Woods left college early so he could sign a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike and start raking in the tournament winnings. And Haney’s the greedy one?

This from a guy who is still the No. 1 earner in golf despite all his issues. Two seasons after Woods whacked the fire hydrant and his world supposedly came crashing down, and two seasons after his last PGA Tour victory, he earned more than $60 million in 2011.

Apparently, in Tiger World, only he gets to rake in the cash. Only he is allowed to self-promote.

We already knew that Woods is super-private, hypersensitive and ill-suited to the fame that comes with his incredible talent. But this book promises to open some new chapters, which clearly is why Woods hates it. And why it will be a gigantic seller.

Woods surely didn’t want the Navy SEAL stuff to come out in such detail. But now that it has, what’s the big deal? Woods, himself, has talked about wanting to join the SEALs. And his dad, who Tiger idolized, was a proud military man.

The guess here is that Woods didn’t want the depths of his training with Navy SEALs teams to come out because of appearances that he got preferential treatment from some military brass – either because of who he is or who his father was. Woods is probably also concerned about implying anything along the lines of: “I could have been a Navy SEAL, if I wanted to.” And I don’t think he’s saying that.

Or he got mad at the press conference last week when asked about the SEALs stuff simply because he refuses to answer any in depth question on any subject. You decide.

In ‘The Big Miss” excerpt I read, Haney writes a lot of flattering things about his former employer, including calling Woods “the greatest athlete on the planet.”

Haney writes how excited he was to be hired by Woods and remembered thinking: “I won't even have to tell him anything. This guy is going to win no matter what I tell him. He's done it all his life, he's so good. I've just landed the easiest job in golf.”

Haney also talks about a grip change he showed Tiger one day on the range, and after a dozen or so balls, Woods had it down. Haney calls that episode “a good example of how Tiger was simply different. I can’t imagine another player adjusting to a grip change to quickly.”

“The Big Miss” will go on sale on March 27. Pre-orders are being accepted through www.hankhaney.com.

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About This Blog

Editor Rick Pledl joined Killarney Golf Media in 1995. A longtime member of the Golf Writer’s Association of America, Pledl is also an award-winning outdoor writer. He previously worked as a freelance journalist and as a reporter at various daily and weekly newspapers in Wisconsin. Email him at rpledl@wisgolfer.com.

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